Friday, September 11, 2009

Question of the Day #310

So I wrote a whole other question and then logged onto Facebook. The majority of east coast friends acknowledged the anniversary of September 11. Some of them mourned their friends and family members. Some of them sent up prayers for the servicemen and women who died that day. And some of them just suggested having a moment of silence today.

My west coast friends are posting their usual posts.

On September 11, 2001, my family members were directly affected. I'm not going to share that story, but I will share this. When I went to work (in LA) the next day, nobody got it. My boss, who had never been to NYC, pulled me aside and asked me about World Trade Center Plaza. How big was it exactly? What could I compare it to?

Californians didn't seem to get the scope of it all. And this is NOT a slam to Californians. I'm here 15 years and I'm pretty sure my Jersey Girl label is starting to wear off. It just provokes an interesting question. Unless something impacts us directly - do we even notice?



  1. I'm a midwesterner and I'd say at least half of the fb posts today are regarding 9/11. I remember that day so clearly. No, I wasn't directly affected (as in knowing anyone that was there), but I do remember my sick feeling all that day and the horror and worry for those that were there.

  2. I would hope that most people would notice a major event/catastrophe/impact on society and the world. I was in LA too on 9/11 and I felt as though the world had stopped - maybe because my circle of friends was comprised of East Coasters. My office building was shut down that day and everywhere we went, there seemed to be fog of sadness and disbelief.

    My friends and I felt the shock & sadness when the killings occurred at Columbine, when the tsunami devastated Bali, when Katrina hit the Gulf Coast...the list is long but I always notice.

    I would hope that anyone with a pulse, a heart & even the slightest bit of awareness and compassion would be affected by events that impact mankind.

  3. That's so true!! Since it didn't really effect me or my family (my uncle WAS close to the buildings and did see them collapse but was not in too much danger), the day day might easily be forgotten, but I have the day kind of engraved in my brain. It was the first time I was actually happy that my dad listened to the silly news radio station. The first time I actually watched the Channel 1 News during school. One of the first times I can remember crying for people I didn't know. There are a couple of people who live on the West coast-ish that ARE commemorating it, though. I just think that if it doesn't impact us directly we just forget a bit faster. We'll always notice those horrific tsunamis or earth quakes over seas but not very many of us have family/friends over there so we'll forget about it as life keeps moving forward and things like deadlines and appointments take over the worry spot of our brains.

    The shock of that day lasted for a little bit and then life went on like usual. I've always honored the day with a moment of silence but it wasn't till today that I realized how long it has been since it happened. EIGHT years. It seriously feels like it was just 2 or so years ago!! So crazy what has happened in those 8 years. *sigh* Our world is one crazy place. And wow. This comment is longer than your post!!! Hahaha!! Sorry!! It's just a question that I've actually asked myself a couple of times.

  4. We DO notice! I remember being at home that day(in Sweden) nursing my baby boy. I had the TV on and watched it on the news as it happened. I'll never forget the shock of that day, thinking about it now makes my eyes fill with tears. It didn't effect us directly - but I'll always remember... My thoughts are with you on a day like today.

  5. I'm an East Coaster too and live near DC. Not near enough to worry about my personal safety, but near enough that I worried about my husband's safety in a building less than a mile from the White House - especially in the first hours when nobody knew what was going on. I'll always remember that day. The shock lasted for a while, especially as I realized how many moms and dads that I knew who were in the Pentagon.

    That said, I somehow don't want to be locked into a way that I should act online. I'm not upset that other people chose to use their Facebook or blogs to mark their feelings about September 11th. But that's not what I want to do about it. Certainly people who are directly connected will feel more, but that doesn't mean that other people don't care. It may mean though, that they have less need then to share their feelings.

    I also - and here's where my answer grows tricky - wonder about memorializing these particular victims. Other people die in plane crashes, or saving people from fires, or as senseless victims of war. And for the families of those souls, they have a personal day of mourning that means nothing to anyone but themselves.

    So then I have a question: Is it harder to share a personal day of mourning with the whole country, or is it harder to have a personal day of mourning that few people know about?

  6. Yes, I agree we all changed that day. Everywhere. But I also think that those people who walk those streets and spent that horrible day frantic looking for loved ones, will be impacted on a deeper level. I don't mean it as some perverse sympathy competition. It just makes sense.

    I was in LA that day too and spent it horrified, scared and seeking the comfort of friends. Now I live outside of NYC and I hear stories of what people were doing around here on that day (trying to find their significant others, walking over bridges, losing their friends) and it's chilling. Many of them have devised plans, have stockpiled supplies etc... in preparation for the next attack. And they are sure there will be another attack.

    Very interesting question. Can tomorrow's question be about cheese again? : )

  7. When I moved to LA i met so many people that were "supposed to be in NYC" that day but they missed thier flights or they circled around nyc for hours becasue they couldn't land....and even heard people say that they are tired of hearing about 9/11. It's like Frank sinatras last held maybe 17,000 seats...but hundreds of thousands of people were at the show. It don't blame LA people for not getting it, but at least they should have the tact and intelligence to say nothing. At times I feel that being in NYC on 9/11 has become a status symbol or some kind of bs social specialness attached to it. It's at the point that I don't talk about my experinces with it anymore because people are just in a hurry to say that they were allmost there or that something told them not to be there....yeah ,that something was the fucking news.

  8. I'm not saying that I think people aren't paying enough attention or posting enough stuff about 9/11. I'm just wondering about my actual question. Take it out of the context and ask yourself: If something doesn't impact us directly - do we even notice it?

    Not necessarily 9/11 - I mean anything. Like if somebody is really sick but you're only an acquaintance, do you really notice? Sure you feel bad for a bit but then you keep on keepin' on. Or like with my ex, when something awful was happening to me, it was kind of like he wasn't even aware of it (hence the ex).

    I meant the question on a larger scale, because I agree MotheReader, I'm not upset that people may not chose to vocalize their feelings about 9/11. It's just an interesting look at how people do and don't react to situations when there's distance between them and the issue.

    And MotherReader, your question is excellent. Is it harder to have a day during which you have the whole country to mourn with or is it harder to have a personal day of mourning that few people know about?

    I have no idea. And I truly do not wish to find out. But I guess it would depend on whether you traditionally do better working through things on your own or with other people. I usually do that on my own or with one or two close people.

    Anyone else?

    And Lisa D, I think we should definitely go back to cheese tomorrow. ; )

  9. I was born and raised in California and had only been to the WTC once. I had accidently dropped my purse on a bus and the driver held onto it all day until he could return it to me, which he did at the WTC buildings. They were huge. Such a horrible day in our country's history.


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